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chris piering
01-26-2008, 07:29 PM
in NY Times. " This Republic of Suffering"
This book explores a topic that I have often thought would be a good topic to write on.
I have often wondered about the logistics of the aftermath of battle and based on the review, this is covered in depth.

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/books/review/index.html?8dpc

Any other works on this topic?

stubbynick
01-26-2008, 08:16 PM
I just finished reading this book and found it to be very informative and a good read. It touches on many issues surrounding death and the war.


Gerald Smolik

Horace
01-26-2008, 11:30 PM
I recently read two books which focus on the aftermath of Gettysburg; Debris of Battle by Gerard A. Patterson, and When The Smoke Cleared At Gettysburg by George Sheldon. Debris of Battle is the clear standout of the two. It focuses largely on the unbelievable mismanagement and neglect that occurred after both armies had pulled out. There were almost no medical provisions for the thousands of wounded left behind. The problem of burying the dead and the impact the battle had on townspeople is also covered in detail. It's very readable.

Benedict
07-23-2008, 12:56 PM
I have read Mrs. Gilpin's book and found the topic of a "culture of death" and its change due to wartime experience very interesting. Notions of a "good death" or living with death itself seem to me, at least from a German point of view, very distant since death these days is put on the margins of the public view.

There is another recent publication that deals with death and the Civil War, but I have not read it:

Schantz, Mark S. Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America's Culture of Death.

PanzerJager
07-23-2008, 01:54 PM
I would also add to the list A Strange and Blighted Land: Gettysburg, The Aftermath of a Battle by Gregory Coco if you are interested in and the aftermath of the battle. It was quite a good read, the first hand descriptions of the field after the three days fight really gives you a feeling of how nasty and vile the place must have been.

Jimmayo
07-23-2008, 02:38 PM
I would also add to the list A Strange and Blighted Land: Gettysburg, The Aftermath of a Battle by Gregory Coco if you are interested in and the aftermath of the battle. It was quite a good read, the first hand descriptions of the field after the three days fight really gives you a feeling of how nasty and vile the place must have been.

I concur. A must read if you want to understand Gettysburg and the result of the battles. The first hand accounts make quite an impression.

Arch Campbell
07-23-2008, 07:19 PM
I can add my own positive review of "This Republic of Suffering." It is of course written for a general audience, so there is some "setup" material that is unneccessary for us, but not much. As living historians we read a lot about campaigns and battles, but not usually about what is left behind afterward.
The chapters on "good deaths" were very interesting, but the most fascinating part to me was about the postwar battles over the remains of loyal men buried in the South.
Thankfully, the book does NOT focus on Gettysburg.

Jimmayo
07-24-2008, 09:25 AM
Thankfully, the book does NOT focus on Gettysburg.

Even though the Coco's book focuses on Gettysburg, the same conditions and problems remained on any large battle field in the CW. The book starts with the time the armies left and ends up in present time. The information includes the care of the wounded, burial and removal of the bodies and the collecting of battle debris and much more. Most of the information had not been researched and published or condensed into one source. If you haven't, I still suggest you read it before passing judgment. If you have read it and feel it does not apply to other battles, my apologies.

The following may be of interest to many on the forum and scare those who don't like to march behind the horses:

Using the estimate information in the book as a basis, I have caculated (long hand) that in the three days of battle the following statistics apply:

Number of horses at Gettysburg
AoP- 43,303
ANV- 28,940(est)
total- 72,243
total killed- 3000 to 5000

Physical Data
Each horse consumes ten gallons per day,
72,243 X 10 = 722 thousand gallons per day

each horse consumes twelve pounds of grain (oat preferred) and fourteen ponds of hay per day
grain: 72,243 X 12 = 867 thousand lbs per day
Hay: 72,243 X 14 = 1 million lbs per day

each horse produces 12 to 15 lbs of manure per day
72,243 X 13.5 = 975 thousand lbs.

each horse produces 2 gallons of urine per day
72,243 X 2 = 144 thousand gallons.

Over the three days of Gettysburg if every horse lived through the battle they would produce;
urine about 6 hundred thousand gallons
manure about 3 million Lbs

Like I stated above, I don't know much about horses. Facts like consuming 10 gallons of water a day sound like a lot to me.

Either way you look at there was a lot of horse crap on the battlefield. Who would have thunk of that ?

Arch Campbell
07-26-2008, 10:47 AM
I grew up around horses, my parents still have some to this day. During the summer, yes they actually do drink as much as ten gallons of water a day. One would think that that many horses concentrated in one place would drink all the streams dry.
I meant no judgment on the other book you recommended, I'm sure it is informative and well-researched, and a good recommendation for those interested in the eastern theater.
For myself, I prefer to read about how the Union was saved rather than about how it was almost lost. :D